tv Matter of Fact With Fernando Espuelas ABC January 25, 2016 12:00am-12:30am EST
>> today on "matter of fact" -- rising through the ranks is nothing new for ben carson, but winning iowa might be his biggest challenge. then, the debate over immigration is boiling over. senate minority with dick durbin s fired up in washington. >> it would be a disaster. >> plus -- >> one party is being defined by paranoia and prejudice. >> making sure that their messages are heard. >> to keep the borders open so that illegal immigrants can take our jobs? fernando: i am fernando
welcome to "matter of fact." ben carson' s campaign is about to face its biggest test. the softspoken presidential candidate needs to insure that his voice is heard over the chorus of other republicans in the iowa caucus. once a front runner, can carson attract enough votes to keep his campaign on track? i caught up with him in clarinda, iowa. fernando: sir, as you are in iowa and iowa voting is coming up, the caucuses are coming up, how are you feeling? what are your prospects? dr. carson: we are seeing very enthusiastic people. i believe that our enthusiasm will translate to a lot of caucus-goers, but also a lot of people we are seeing who are not traditional voters, not people who voted in the past, not people who are generally talked to or captured. fernando: how do you feel about what happened in congress, where republicans and democrats voted
deficit significantly this year, and possibly following years if the trajectory continues? when you see that happening, it was a bipartisan bill, how do you react to it? how would you deal with it diffently? dr. carson: i react to it very negatively. at the very beginning in a carson administration, i would make it clear to everyone that i am not signing anything that is borrowing from the future. it is already a situation where the current generation is expected to do worse than their parents. that' s the first time in history that occurred. going into the foreseeable future if we don' t do something serious about it now. fernando: yet as you know, by the congress in many initiatives, whether they are good or bad,. he has been stymied. since there is so much momentum in congress today to really expand the federal government' s expenditures, how could you be a
from any president that has been there before? dr. carson: first of all, you have to open up the doors for dialogue. you know, there' s been very little dialogue between the executive branch and the legislative branch over the last seven years. that' s a big mistake. you have to make that dialogue public, so the people can actually see who is advocating for them and who is being a stick in the mud. i think that will greatly ameliorate the situation. fernando: sir, as you know, you have come under some criticism on your foreign-policy views, or more precisely the assumption by some people, including people formally in your campaign, that your forte. yet by most accounts, this is going to be a foreign-policy election. if not strictly so, definitely one of the key issues. what has been misunderstood about your foreign-policy vision? dr. carson: you know, people have said you don' t know anything about foreign-policy.
question, it is clear i do know about it, yet the narrative continues because you' re not supposed to know anything about foreign policy because you had a career in medicine. we make incorrect assumptions. i can talk very extensively about foreign policy, and i like to, because i think it is such an essential part of our future. if we don' t deal with the threats that face us in a very serious way, they only become more serious. fernando: sir, i don' t know if you are aware, but former defense secretary robert gates singled you out a couple days ago in the media as, being a neurosurgeon is not a qualification to be president. how would you respond to secretary gates? dr. carson: i would say that there' s a lot of people in the political sphere who feel that the only people who can solve our problems are politicians. but our system was actually
en, and you can gain experience in a variety of different ways. of all the people running, i would say there' s no one who had to deal with as many life and death situations at 2:00 in the morning as i have had to, and to put together facts very quickly and make critical decisions. those are the kinds of things that i think are translatable, not how many years you spent talking about things in a legislative chamber. fernando: let me ask you specifically about donald trump. as you know very well, he' s doing quite well in the polls, seeming to be rising in the polls. what do you think is driving that phenomenon? he was early on criticized for his tone, his tenor, perhaps. why is he occupying such a big space in the minds of republican voters? dr. carson: well, why is he the teflon candidate? primarily because people are so incredibly frustrated.
foibles are, they cannot be as bad as the things we have been experiencing already. he has been able to occupy that particular slot. you know, we as a nation will get an opportunity to make a decision as to what kind of leader we want, and we will get what we choose. fernando: dr. carson, thank you so much for joining us today. dr. carson: thank you so much. fernando: carson is not the traditional establishment s a political newcomer and voted for jimmy carter twice. being an outsider with strong conservative views and a willingness to speak his mind is what he is counting on to win. >> coming up, immigration heads to the top court. but senator dick durbin already reached his decision. disgraceful.
s executive orders. i think they were wrong. now, in the supreme court we can prove our case that this is within the authority of the president. there are literally hundreds of thousands of lives that are at stake here, not only in the daca program for younger people but in the dapa program for their parents as well. fernando: and, but there is also a huge risk, right? that the conservative-leaning court will actually rule against the president. what would happen then? sen. durbin: it would be a disaster, a human disaster. 600,000 young people have signed up for daca. brought to the united states when they were children, by their parents. they' ve lived a good life, good education, no criminal problems. they want to be part of america' s future. they want to work hard to do that. they' d be denied that if the supreme court ruled against the president. and their parents? many of them want a chance to work here. just to work here in a legal fashion. it is naive to believe that these workers are not needed. they are needed, and they are extraordinarily hardworking
part of our economy today and can be an even more important in the future. fernando: and what do you say to those people who have a fairness issue with this? people came to the country without authorization, they' re staying here, under some premise they' re stealing jobs. is there some merit to that? should people be angry? sen. durbin: well, i think that what we should demand of all of the undocumented is that they come forward, pay their fees, pay their taxes, submit themselves to a federal -- criminal background check, and if they clear everything, get to the back of the line and wait until everyone else is cleared. so, i' m not for amnesty, which would be defined as just a giveaway. not at all. i want to see them go through a process, as tough as it may be, to be given a chance. fernando: and now there seems to be a confluence between people who are legitimately concerned about national security, homegrown terrorism. migrants and immigration, it seems like these things have now
what is the reality of it? do we have a real problem of migrants in the country who are dangerous to the country or -- how do you see that? sen. durbin: sadly, we' re in the midst of a presidential campaign and on the republican side, the ravings of mr. trump and others are leading efforts in congress to validate some of their bizarre suggestions. think of this. if a refugee wants to come to the united states, they submit themselves to a background check that can last for up to two years and maybe beyond. they have to meet higher standards than virtually any other visitor to this country. but mr. trump and republicans have focused on these refugees, these sad stories. we can and we should make america safer from those who would come and harm us, but focusing on helpless refugees who have to go through an extensive background check is the wrong priority. fernando: as you know, the department of homeland security has begun a process of deporting families -- a certain group of
people or so -- that seems in dissonance with what the president has said is his policy and i know many people in , congress, democrats in particular, are against this selective deportation of groups of people. how do you see that and how do you make sense of it? sen. durbin: well, i' ve joined with several of my colleagues in the senate, writing to the administration saying this deportation program is just wrong. we know how dangerous these countries are. we are not following these people when they' re returned to make sure that they are safe. many times they go through a process in this country, which really doesn' t meet the basic standards of fairness, in terms of someone explaining to them what their rights are under american law. and we know that some of the treatment in detention could be a lot better. this is important for us as a nation, in terms of who we are and our image in country. -- in the world. so i' m saying to the department of homeland -- stop pushing deportation. don' t penalize these families. focus on deporting people who are truly dangerous.
tt2w>rxli @%o j# h_< tt2w>rxli @%!!*n 8_t tt2w>rxli @%4!j# ni tt2w>rxli @%x#*&`:igt tt2w>rxli @%t#j'`:]g0 tt2w>rxli @%t#j)`:v't tt2w>rxli @%p#j*`:arxli @%p#j,`: f( tt2w>rxli @%l#*.`:)o$ tt2w>rxli @%l#*0`:2yl fernando: it' s a new game in new hampshire. according to a new poll democratic candidate bernie , sanders has opened up a wide lead over hillary clinton.
s first primary? professor andy smith, who conducted the poll, is with the university of new hampshire survey center. professor smith: we found bernie sanders is leading clinton by 60% to 33%, a 27% margin. that' s a significant increase in the last poll we did in december, where sanders was leading but only by 10% over clinton. he has been leading in new hampshire for most of the fall, and has been tied with clinton as far back as the summer. so the expansion we are seeing now is not really unexpected, but the magnitude of it surprised me. fernando: does that give you some pause, that perhaps there' s a problem with the data? professor smith: possibly. there' s always a problem you have with surveys, in that you can get an unusual sample, but the internals of the poll indicate to me some things that make me think it could be that
the first thing is, bernie sanders is staggeringly popular among new hampshire democrats. 91% have a favorable opinion of him. more importantly, people who have never voted in a primary before, 98% say they have a favorable opinion of him, and 96%, of those under 35. so these new voters who he is trying to attract and energize our extremely popular, like him a lot, and if you can get them to the polls -- that' s the biggest problem he will have -- he could do very well. clinton, on the other hand, has some weaknesses. her favorability ratings are still good, but 55% of voters think she is the least honest candidate. most importantly, i guess, the ground has shifted to issues that favor sanders over clinton. the most important issue to democratic voters, now economic issues, income inequality issues. that' s the bernie sanders sweet spot.
john kasich, governor of ohio,, is not doing well nationally but is doing quite well in new hampshire. what can you to be that too? professor smith: we are not seeing him do particularly quite well. he is bunched in the same group of candidates between 6% and 14%, so he is bunched in with a lot of more moderate candidates who have traditionally done well in new hampshire. the problem that k-6 has -- kasich has, he made the classic with the independent vote. that' s a myth about the new venture primaries, that we have all these independent voters trying to decide which election to vote in. the reality is the great majority of them are democrats or republicans, and they vote like republicans or democrats. if you run a campaign that criticizes republicans and republican issues like kasich has to attract independent
jon huntsman tried that strategy in 2012 and finished in distant third place. in fact, a lot of people refer to john kasich as doing the full huntsman this year. fernando: struggling candidates will have just over two weeks to catch the front-runners before voters go to the polls for the nation' s first primary. >> coming up next, cracking code words on the campaign trail. >> there has definitely been pannouncer: where do you line up with john kasich on the issues? take the kasich quiz! forced obamacare expansion in ohio. voted for massive defense cuts and defended the process that closed pease air force base, which cost thousands of local jobs. even had the worst rating on spending of any governor in the country - republican or democrat. john kasich - wrong on new hampshire issues. right to rise usa is responsible
saying? mr. trump: they are bringing drugs. they are bringing crime. they are rapists. fernando: the crowded republican field has not shyed away from hot-button issues like immigration, income inequality and women' s rights. and some campaign ads could even be considered "dog-whistle" politics, fanning the flames of racial division. leah wright rigueur teaches about race and politics at harvard university.
fernando: there' s been a tremendous amount of controversy so far in the election. some would say that there' s dog whistling going on in terms of messaging that seeks to appeal to some sort of racial biases. do you agree with that general view of the election so far? so there' s definitely been head nods, dog whistles, whatever you want to call it towards racialized politics. many of these things have been implicit. we' ve seen them in previous elections, so that' s nothing really too new. what' s a little bit different about today' s politics and
about today' s election is the rate at which explicit dog whistle politics is happening. in fact, we might not even call it dog whistle politics. fernando: and therefore, when you hear some of these things, i guess, perhaps the most famous thus far is mr. trump calling mexican immigrants rapists. what is going on here? who is mr. trump, and others who may be using these kinds of coded
appeal to? professor rigueur: so the interesting thing with donald trump is that he' s
been pretty explicit about who he' s trying to appeal to. he' s trying to appeal to working class, poor whites. also some kind of disaffected whites. people who have been leaving the republican party, and leaving politics in general. so he' s really trying to get them back into the gop, but he' s doing it in a way that is explicitly racial and racialized -- and some might even say racist. fernando: and, professor, when you hear, or when people hear, in general, that one particular group, i mentioned mexicans, but there are other people that have been singled out in this campaign, are being attacked as it were, does that have an impact when other groups? in other words, when african-americans are attacked, do hispanics react in a similar way? or gay people? or young women or whomever? professor rigueur: well, i think one of the things that we' ve seen over the past couple of
couple of decades, is the solidifying of the minority bloc vote. so in the last presidential election, in 2012, barack obama got 80% of the minority vote. so that means 80 -- at least 80% among latinos, amongst asian americans, amongst black voters. and a large part of that has to do with responses to how the republican party has really been treating racial minorities as a whole. so there' s a real solidifying of this racial and ethnic identity. and so yes, when one thing happens to a group of people, people pay attention. so this is why it' s so important, at least for the democratic party and republican party to really watch what they are saying and listen to the rhetoric. what' s going on. people on the ground are listening. fernando: candidates using coded words also run the risk of alienating millennial voters, who tend to have progressive attitudes about race in america today. tell me what you' re thinking.
fernando: in just a few days, iowans will begin the process of electing our new president. voting will then ramp up fast with new hampshire, south carolina, nevada and several big primaries in march and april. polls tell us that americans are in a sour mood. it' s easy to complain, to sink into apathy and surrender to hopelessness. but whatever your ideology or party preference, don' t just sit there. we will turn things around. we are a country of vision and boundless creativity. and now it' s your turn to take action. national elections are uniquely transformational. make sure your family and neighbors are fully engaged.
and actively encourage them to participate in the primaries and of course in the general election. there is no problem in america that we can' t tackle with more democracy. it all starts with you. and that' s the bottom line. i' m fernando espuelas. have a great week. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its